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Centre for Renovation of the 20th-Century Architectural Heritage
Brno, Czech Republic | 2014
Client: National Heritage Institute
Photographer: Filip Slapal, Alena Rezna
In 2009, on the unused grounds of Villa Stiassny, an intention to create the Centre for Renovation of the 20th Century Architectural Heritage emerged from the cooperation of the National Heritage Institute and the Faculty of Architecture in Brno. It is vital to add on a new building to the existing one so as to provide visitors the necessary room for exhibitions, lectures and conferences. Site Brno - Pis.rky, a slope above the Brno Exhibition Centre.
The property of Villa Stiassny,by the architect Ernst Wiesner, from the year 1929. In the upper part of the sloping land by Preslova Street, there is an apartment building and garages built in the 70ÅLs of the 20th-Century (architect Kamil Fuchs).
The building is designed as a simple succinct mass located lengthwise by Preslova street. It follows the adjacent existing building in its width as well as length. The compact structure is underlined by the solid concrete walls made from black concrete with large glass surface. The building also serves as the main entrance to the precincts from Preslova street and thanks to its look it evokes the impression of a gateway. The glass surface enables unlimited view of the entire Villa Stiassny premises from the interiors and, at the same time, it enables the view of the premises, through the object,from the street.
The compact structure is divided into two floors with entrances into both levels. The upper level is accessible from the street. One enters the gallery of a two-floor foyer where visitor information counter with books and a snack bar are located. On the lower level, accessible form the garden, there is a foyer with space for exhibitions and there is also a base for visitors located under the gallery.
From the foyer one enters the lecture hall followed by a hall and technical facilities base. Staircase and a lift connect the two levels of the foyer and continue up to the roof terrace which allows visitors to enjoy the spectacular view of Brno. The access into the complex premises is possible through the building itself or using the outside staircase located between the new and the existing building. The area between the buildings is connected
by a terrace raised slightly above the garden terrain.
Coloured black architectural concrete walls and self-evident steel-concrete pillars form the support structure. The garden-side facade which is open along its whole height is formed by a set of steel-concrete pillars in the shape of the letter X. These have a supporting and reinforcing function and at the same time they are a significant motif of the building, keeping visitors surprised either viewed from the garden or after entering the building from the street. The black shell of the building contrasts with its clear white interior floor, walls and staircase. The contrast is emphasized thanks to the “ordinary” poured concrete frontage as well as the perfect prefabricated white concrete stairs. The white interior is complemented with yellow embedded areas. The yellow outside blinds then play both the interior and exterior in colours as well as in the structure of light.
The concrete frontage of the building has internal insulation that also forms the inner white shell. The southern glass frontage enables some passive heat gains in winter and transient months. In summer, overheating of the interior is prevented thanks to the outside blinds. The green roof enhances the interior environment. In the surface of the roof there are air pumps to serve as both the heating and cooling of the building which overall meets the requirements of an energy-saving house.